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June 24, 2014
Florida Fire wins the IMG 7v7 National Tournament
The Florida Fire were especially hot over the weekend as they went undefeated (11-0) throughout pool play and tournament to win the 2014 IMG 7v7 National Championship. The Fire have some of the best talent in the country with athletes like Shawn Burgess-Becker, Devonaire Clarington, Jovon Durante, Trayvon Mullen, Malek Young, Binjimen Victor, Ronnie Hoggins, Antonio Howard, and others.
Still, winning the national title wouldn't be easy with other star studded teams from throughout the country in Bradenton to participate. Head coach Dennis Marroquin was just the right man to lead the Fire to a memorable weekend.
"There were huge emotions for the kids and coaches," Marroquin said about winning the championship. "We wanted this from day one. The whole time the goal was winning, exposure, and of course being the national champs. It meant everything because the kids worked hard for this all 7v7 season and a lot of people didn't believe we could do it."
It was a total team effort for the Fire to be so successful during their undefeated run, but three players in particular really stepped up for Marroquin and his team.
"Throughout the tournament, I would say cornerback Ronnie Hoggins stepped up, especially in the semifinal game with a huge interception to help us win," said Marroquin. "Safety Devin Gil also had a great tournament with a couple of interceptions as well as a pic in the championship game to earn us the title. Last but not least, Calvin Ridley showed the world why he's number one receiver in the country - unstoppable throughout the entire tournament including a pair of touchdowns in the championship game."
The Fire were without exceptional talents on Saturday as Binjimen Victor, Malek Young, and Trayvon Mullen as they were at a different 7v7 tournament with their high school team.
"They came back Sunday and where an impact, because they have been with us all year and the team chemistry showed in the end," said Marroquin. "They gave us more fuel to the Fire."
The Fire defeated Tampa Bay's Unsigned Preps 33-20 in the championship game. The two-time defending champions, Team Tampa, were eliminated early on Sunday.
Here is the full roster for the Florida Fire, the 2014 IMG 7v7 National Champions.
2016 QB Kato Nelson